Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Watkins Audio Visual Sampler

AA
View Discussion
Clinton Watkins video works: left to right, Hawk, Wave, Stride and Force Field. Photo by Sam Hartnett Clinton Watkins video works: left to right, Hawk, Wave, Stride and Force Field. Photo by Sam Hartnett Clinton Watkins video works: left to right, Hawk, Wave, Stride and Force Field. Photo by Sam Hartnett Clinton Watkins, Force Field, 2011, standard definition video, dual projection, aspect ratio variable, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Force Field, 2011, standard definition video, dual projection, aspect ratio variable, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Force Field, 2011, standard definition video, dual projection, aspect ratio variable, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Force Field, 2011, standard definition video, dual projection, aspect ratio variable, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Force Field, 2011, standard definition video, dual projection, aspect ratio variable, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Stride, 2009, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Stride, 2009, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Stride, 2009, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Hawk, 2011, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, silent. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Hawk, 2011, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, silent. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Wave, 2011, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, stereo sound. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Feedback, 2009, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, silent. Photo by Sam Hartnett. Clinton Watkins, Feedback, 2009, standard definition video, aspect ratio 4 x 3, silent. Photo by Sam Hartnett.

While some of these videos have been seen and heard previously in the Auckland Art Fair, Te Tuhi and Two Rooms, this is a particularly well considered arrangement - meticulously thought through with its sophisticated use of scale, height, sound source, sight lines and architecture.

Auckland

 

Clinton Watkins
Selection

 

27 September - 22 October 2011

It is unusual for Starkwhite to cover over their large street-front windows but the need for darkness has come from a presentation of five moving image / sound works by Clinton Watkins on their ground floor gallery, office and staircase. While some of these have been seen and heard previously in the Auckland Art Fair, Te Tuhi and Two Rooms, this is a particularly well considered arrangement - meticulously thought through with its sophisticated use of scale, height, sound source, sight lines and architecture.

Force Field (2010) Watkins’ main work has been seen in different permutations at other Auckland venues using other rectangular ratios. Here it fits in on the large main wall between the two elegant columns that dominate Starkwhite’s space, interacting with a film screen in the office, two monitors halfway up and below the stairs, and another on a sculpture stand by the window. Its horizontal bands of colour, formed from two overlapping projections, move vertically changing tone as they slide over each other, the composition generated by the sound source - not vice versa or independently produced.

The chunky coloured horizontal bands seem to allude to seventies Ted Bracey or Don Driver paintings, but they change alignment or dissolve into tilted jagged Clyfford Still forms - mixed with Japanesey textile patterns - when the pulse speeds up and turns into staccato clicks or whoops.

Sometimes Watkins can out-nuance the colour combinations of other painters like Thornley or Trusttum, or the crumbling dragged dry-brush textures of a Richter, even though it is moving projected light we are looking at. Even with just greys and hard edges his continually morphing forms hold your attention.

Force Field is about twenty minutes in its duration, a shrewdly drawn out, orchestrated sequence of chromatic moods and aural rhythms. The other works - all black and white - are much shorter.

In the office on a suspended screen Stride’s trotting horse (front legs only) paces alongside a white double railed fence. The soundtrack of delicately tinkling finger cymbals (or triangle?) seems randomly organised, deliberately at odds with the regular movements of the straining limbs before us.

Up on the doubled-back staircase Watkins’ video of a hawk silently gliding on some thermals seems to be about height itself and freedom beyond architecture. Below the stairs on the floor a loop of a wave disintegrating at the foot of the Huka Falls seems to refer to Katsushika Hokusai or some contemporary video master like Daniel Crooks.

Watkins’ fifth work Feedback (not counting a gorgeous video of the slow moving container vessel Wallenius Wilhelmsen showing in a small room upstairs) is of a spinning and toppling CD, filmed on a flat whiteboard so that you can see a landscapelike horizon line in the distance. That horizon line continues on in Force Field and Stride, both visible from Feedback’s position.

Available as a free Chartwell sponsored download at the recent Auckland Art Fair, this slowly turning, perfectly balanced (hand manipulated) disc with its sparkling edges, could be a vague tribute to Len Lye’s small sculpture Roundhead, its beautiful flat whirling plane referencing far more complicated, multi-directional concentric circles. Of course it speaks of its own methodology - as its reflexive name says - but the video’s symmetry also matches Force Field, as does its use of gravity, Wave. The disc’s falling to the ground becomes a foil, contradicting the perpetual freedom of the hovering bird in Hawk.

It’s quite an experience exploring this unusual configuration of videos; very bodily but lots to consider as you move around investigating and comparing the precisely positioned components. A treat.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Michael Shepherd's 'Suppose The Future Fails' as installed upstairs at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Apocalyptic Maelstrom

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Michael Shepherd
Suppose the Future Fails

 

30 November - 22 December 2018

JH

Classically Composed Improv

Rattle Records

Auckland

 

Eve de Castro-Robinson, with various musicians

The Gristle of Knuckles 2018

JH
Sam Hartnett's Ex Libris as installed at Objectspace. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Three Libraries Remembered

OBJECTSPACE

Auckland

 

Sam Hartnett
Ex Libris

 

24 November 2018 - 24 February 2019

JH
Gavin Hipkins' Block Units exhibition as installed at Starkwhite. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Hipkins’ Painted Block Images

STARKWHITE

Auckland

 

Gavin Hipkins
Block Units

 

14 November - 8 December 2018